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Bird Rescue News (Winter 2011)

A few things to remember for the welfare of birds in care:

  • Not to stroke or pet the bird. This will remove the oils from the feathers and make it human friendly. This is not a good idea for a wild bird.
  • Not to keep the bird longer than is needed. Once the bird has reached its goal weight and is feeding, and has recovered from its injuries/sickness then it is time for release.
  • Not to get the bird use to dogs or cats. This will result in the bird thinking all cats and dogs are bird friendly —they are not. A dog that may lick and wash a bird in a friendly manner will remove oils, this is not good for the bird. The next dog it meets may well bite and the bird is killed.

General reminder:

  • Hungry hawks often feed off road kills and many get hit by cars. Again, if possible, slow down and give them a chance to escape. The blood of the animal they are feeding on is stuck to the road and as they try to fly off with their prey they can’t lift off.

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Bird Rescue News

Rosemary to retire

Well after 20 years doing bird rescue work I have decided to retire. I will still be involved in an advisory role. The sharing of information in this type of work is vital. Something that works really well in getting a bird back to the wild should be shared. That is why we hold bird rescue weekends and the one day courses that Massey University hold around the county.

During my time doing bird rescue work I have met many beautiful people, all keen to share there knowledge of birds. Some are no longer with us, but remain in my memory of the wonderful work they have done in saving bird species, and giving encouragement to those trying to make a difference.

Whakatane Bird Rescue is closing its doors, but a new group called “Eastern Bay of Plenty Bird Rescue” will be taking its place. I hope these new people will get the enjoyment that I have in working with the Department of Conservation and others in getting the birds back to the wild.

Some of the highlights

Some of the highlights would be, caring for Kiwi and then on some occasions being able to take the bird back to the bush to be released.

Getting a paralyzed falcon well again and seeing that flying free. (It stayed around the area for a few months before going back to nature).

Being able to go out on boats to release penguins back to the ocean was great, thanks to those that allowed me on their boats.

Having a video done by Graham Moore of the birds that I was looking after – This took many months to complete – but a nice record to look back on.

The support I have been given by different firms and people have been outstanding. When running bird rescue weekends, firms like Norske Skog, Wildlands, the Department of Conservation, and our local Forest and Bird have all contributed to the funding needed to run the courses.

Even school children holding their fishing contests have willing given fish to be saved for the next fish eating bird that came into care.

Our local vets have been marvelous and given their time and expertise free of charge. Our local friend Mike Coffey helped when needed to keep the bird hospital up and running.



Rosemary & friend
Rosemary Tully




New Zealand falcon
New Zealand falcon




Little blue penguin
Little blue penguin




Pied stilt chick
Pied stilt chick


I think I have been so lucky in having the continued support from the Department of Conservation. I have made some great friends over the years in DoC and they have given me some wonderful experiences.
Thanks must also go to Raymond my husband who has had to put up with me doing my bird work over the years which sometimes would get in the way of “us” doing things.

Funniest experience would have to be stripping down to jump in someone’s swimming pool to get a domestic duck which had gone into their pool.

Worst I think maybe nearly losing an eye when a gannet struck at my face. A warning to wear eye protection when handling some of these birds with long necks and sharp beaks.

Thank you to Narena Olliver and Jaclyn Kras for hosting these pages.

And before I sign off just a few things to remember:
(Annual occurances in our area).
January Fledgling of Grey–faced Petrels,
February - If hot botulism,
March - still can be botulism.
April - onwards sometimes ParaPara (bird catcher tree), sticky seeds on birds.
July September Rhododendron Poisoning of Tui.
August - onwards, ducklings.
September - young birds lost.
All year, accidents and sickness, storms, lack of food during winter etc.

Thanks again,

Rosemary Tully
Whakatane Bird Rescue, New Zealand, 6 August 2011
rosemarytully@clear.net.nz 

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